View Full Version : seeking beta for mid fiction

02-02-2011, 05:54 AM
I'm looking for someone to beta my mid to maybe YA fiction of 36,500 words. I will return the favor at the same time, my main weakness is grammar/machanics. Whereas Forte, very creative, stong world building skills and diaologue. Below is part of chapter 1 for a feel.

Chapter 1: The Rescue
Chapter 1: The Rescue
I had not been back to Brooklyn for more years than I care to admit, more than 50, I’m sure. I’m retired now, been so for many years. An exciting day for me lately would be a good round of golf, or hooking a big bass. I know, that sounds kind of boring, but it wasn’t always that way. When I was young boy my life was much different; wondrously exciting, and sometimes dangerous. My family was not poor, though there was seldom much money left after paying the bills. That fact did not however, prevent me from having a great childhood. Oh, and our little part of Brooklyn, Canarsie, it was also quite country-like back then.

Walter and Sue, my to closes friends and I, shared many adventures in a place most avoided. That place was a long abandoned landfill in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. The landfill or dump as most called it was located at the waters-edge on Jamaica Bay. You’re probably wondering, why would they go there; well, for one thing, to seek relics from long ago. Often with the passing of time, what was once simply garbage or trash is now a much-desired treasure to someone. Thinking back as I am now, it was likely more simply the mysteriousness of the place, the element of danger that compelled us to enter and not the slim chance of finding another treasure. With so many unexplored ravines and hidden valleys to find, we just had return again and again.

Smoke often came out the ground for seemingly no reason; my dad said it was called spontaneous combustion caused by decaying matter or whatever? We liked to think it was from scalding lava deep below. The dump was also deceptively large; a person could easily become lost. Were we brave or simply foolish to seek the dump’s secrets, good question?

I can still recall quite clearly a winter morning; perhaps in January of 1956, or was it 1957? Anyway, the thought of getting out of my warm bed and dressing for school was not very appealing. I especially dreaded the long cold walk to school. I focused my eyes on my little round alarm clock. No, it can’t be eight. “Mom,” I shouted. “I’m going to be late for school. Why didn’t you wake me?”
“Go back to sleep John, your school is closed. You have a snow day and don’t use that tone of voice with me again.”
Great, she’s in a bad mood; dad’s snoring last night no doubt. Oh well, I’ll just have to stay out of her way until I leave. No school... My eyes closed as my head sunk back into my pillow. Did she really say that or was it a dream? “Hey Mom, did you say it was snowing?”
“Don’t me Hey Mom me, and yes and it’s snowing. It’s coming down quite heavy.”
A quick glance out my window brought a smile to my face. There was at least four inches on the ground already with more falling. In but a fraction of the time it took me to dress for school, I was out of my room and charging down the stairs.
“Good morning Mom, where’s Dad?”
“His office is closed too, he’s still sleeping.”
And he’s not snoring now, I better not say that aloud. “I have to give Walt call.” I went to kitchen wall phone.
“Hello.” Walter’s Mom answered.
“Oh hi, can I speak to Walt?”
“And good morning to you too John.”
“I’m sorry, good morning and how are you feeling today?”
“Feeling today? Forget John, it’s too late to be nice now. “Here’s Walt.”
Dang, her too, does Walt’s dad also snore? Naw… I she was just messing with me again. “Hey, hey, John, no school!”
“I know.”
“I’ll be over in a minute.”
Before I could say goodbye and hang up the phone, I felt my mom’s hand on my shoulder. “Sit yourself down, you’re going anywhere until to eat your breakfast.”
I heard Walt laugh. “I heard her, we’ll meet at your house in a little while.”
“All right.” I put the phone back and sat at the kitchen table.
Mom placed some eggs in front of me. “What are you going to do today?”
“Oh, I don’t know, we always find something to do when it’s snowing.”

We began to hear the sound of truck with snow chains coming up the street. We turned and look out the window.
“Idiots!” Mom said as she stared at two boys holding onto the rear bumper of the truck on the snow-covered road. She reached over with one hand and grabbed hold of my hair, not hard, just enough to insure my full attention. “Don’t even think about doing something like that!”
“I won’t, I promise, that’s too dangerous. The older boys do that stuff, not us.”
She released my hair. “Older, huh, they looked 12 to me.”
“That was the Kelly twins they’re at least 14, besides we know better.”
Mom just stared at me for a second or two. “Kelly boys huh, their mom is going to ground them for a week when I tell her.”
“You’re going to get me into trouble with them. You don’t have to call her, do you? Are… come on mom, please don’t
“I have to, it’s a rule.”
I could almost see them picking on me already. “A rule, what rule?”
Mom face wore a wicked little smile. “The Mother’s Rule. If we see a child doing something bad we have to tell the parents. There are lots of eyes out there keeping watch on you.” I felt her hand on my head again. She messed my hair up playfully, which was something I hated. Sure, I was only 12, but I wasn’t a cute pet puppy or whatever.
We heard a knock at the door. Mom shouted, “Come in Walter.”
The door opened halfway. “Good morning and thanks, but we should wait out here.” He looked the snow on his pant legs and boots.
“Good morning, Mrs. Truggy.” Walter’s younger sister said from behind her brother.
“Good Morning, Sue.”
I grabbed my coat and headed toward the door, “See you later.” I glanced back and saw her standing there, her head tilted to one side and her hands on her hips.
“Didn’t you forget something?”
“Sorry.” I went over and kissed Mom’s cheek.
“That’s better. John, I want you to come home if it gets much colder. Don’t be coming in here later shivering with blue lips.”
“I won’t. Bye.” I closed the door and stepped outside. Before I had a chance to turn around, I was pelted with snowballs. “Hey, that’s not fair.”
“We know,” Sue threw another snowball at my head.
I grabbed a handful of snow and packed it tightly. “One more and I’ll stuff this down your back.”
“You’re no fun.” Sue frowned and dropped her snowball.
“So,” Walter looked at us. “What are we going to do?”
I headed to the shed, “Let’s get our stuff and go exploring.”
Sue did not follow; she just stared at me. “I don’t know, maybe shouldn’t go there today. We can’t see,” she glanced up into the falling snow, “and there could anything out there! We’ll get lost.”
Her words brought visions of the mean dogs that could appear out of nowhere. I was almost ready to agree, when Walter said, “We have our weapons, we’ll be fine. Hey, you’re not going to chicken-out like her, are you?”
I gritted my teeth and said as bravely as I could, “Certainly not.”
“All right then, let’s go exploring,” Walter said.
Sue had to be thinking; you two are idiots.
From against the shed we collected our war-sticks. We were quite creative and loved to make all kinds of things, mostly weird things, like those war-sticks. They were just spears with half of a bicycle handgrip in the center and an assortment of feathers, seagulls and crows on one end. As we also grabbed our homemade slingshots, I patted my pocket to make sure I had enough stones. By the bulge in one of Sue’s pockets, I reasoned she had plenty.
About ten minutes later we glance back at my house, but could not see it through the heavy snow. Our footprints seemed to just vanish in but a short distance. Sue’s expression was not a happy one as we continued up Glenwood road. It didn’t take too long for us come upon a familiar sight; a large willow tree. We stopped and looked to our right, towards the entrance to the dump. While he didn’t show it; I’m sure Walt was just as nervous as Sue and I when we entered the dump.”
A short while later, Sue grumble, “We can hardly see where we’re walking, this so dumb. We’re going to fall into a ravine or maybe break an ankle in a rat hole. We should turn round and go home.”